A tale of a car, a DMV guy and a new driver: a road test memoir.
I got in the car, checked my mirrors, put my seat belt on and was about to turn the engine key when the DMV guy told me to hold on for a minute. He went through the list of things he was going to test me on and reminded me to check my blind spots and mirrors before doing any maneuvers. And that is where our story begins:
Getting out of the parking space alone is a test for me! Then, I had to make sure to stop before the sidewalk--just in case any pedestrian happen to be out at 9am for a morning stroll.
Him: please make a right hand turn.
We went up a hill and my little zoomer made it up just fine.
Him: "turn left at the next intersection".
Me (thoughts): "what in heck is an intersection--does it have to be a major road, or just any road?" back to reality "crap, there is a stop sign right there!" stopped just in the nick of time. Note to self: do not think while you are driving.
Him: "make a right at the next intersection"
Me (thoughts): gently stop and count to 3 before continuing on...drats, I am going 30 on a 25 let off the gas so the car slows down. School section coming up, better be extra careful. Oh wait...I know this area, we are driving to my house....my heart starts slowing down and I start feeling more at ease.
Him: "do you see that green mini-van up there, parallel park behind it"
Me (thoughts): why in heck would I want to do that when there is no cars behind it, I can just pull in...but must do what he says, no arguing with those in more power. I pull up about a foot from the mini-van, my bumper almost at the same level as the mini-van, put the car in reverse, crank the wheel to the right and then gently to the left, turn wheel a bit to the right...oh crap, hit the sidewalk! I am failing!
Him: "please back up straight"
Me (thoughts): oh crap, I can't back up straight! I am going to fail, I know it! Turn the car right, oh man, I hit the sidewalk again, turn it the other way...alright much better.
Him: "please pull out of the parking space when it is safe"
Me (thoughts): No problem there! Got out with flying colors.
Him: "please do a 2 point turn on the next driveway".
Me (thoughts). Which driveway, just pick any or did he mean the very first one. Crap I missed that driveway, shoot for the next one--wait this is my neighbors driveway, I better not run over her flowerbeds, she will kill me! (more confidently) I can do the 2 point turn, I do it all the time when I get out of my driveway. Yippee! Almost home free!
Him: "please do a U-turn"
Me (thoughts): cool--he wants me to take him for a spin :).
Him: "please do a downhill park".
Me: I pull in, park, let my front wheels touch the curb, put the car in park. He waits and I wait...a few seconds pass and then I put the car on drive and we continue.
Do a series of right hand turns, speed starts to change and we start moving away from my neighborhood, my heart starts pumping faster as the unknown approaches.
Him: "please, make a left-lane change"
Me (thoughts): here, going 40mph you want me to make a lane change, are you nuts! We don't need to make a lane change, there is nothing on that side, why would anyone want to make a lane change now?
Sigh deeply: I can do it, I can do it, I must do it! Blinker, check mirrors, blind spot check, do not let go off the gas, sigh deeply and change lanes. Whooa! What a rush.
Him: "very good, nicely done"
Me (thoughts): ooh, compliment. Definitely boosts up my confidence.
Him: "please, make a right-lane change"
Me (thoughts): what! You just made me change lanes, you crazy nut! Make up your mind. Did he say right? or left? Wait, I can't go left, I am already on the left. Must stop thinking! Blinker, check mirrors, blind spot check, do not let go off the gas, sigh and change lanes. Good we are still alive! Almost back to the DMV place. Traffic going faster, must keep up with traffic.
Him: "Please enter the parking lot and park safely".
Me (thoughts): oh man, I have to 90 degree park. Concentrate, I can do it, I have practiced this. Gently pull away from the parking space, closer to the opposite side, let the front of your car cover one of the lines, gently turn the wheel. Must park between the two lines. Put the car on park, turn the ignition off. And wait for judgement day.
Him: Well, so far you have been my best test today.
Me: Really, well, you know the day just started. Am I the first one to test today?
Him: No, I have tested two others. And you did very well. You have to practice all these things though:
- Count to 3 after you have fully stopped when you reach a stop sign.
- Backing up in a straight line, remember to turn your wheel the way you want your back end to turn
- Lastly, remember to put the emergency brake when you park down or up hill.
Me: So did I fail then? How long do I have to wait to re-test?
Him: Nope, nope, you didn't fail. You passed!
Me: WHAT? Really, I thought I had to do all those things you just said. Really?
Him: Every new driver needs to practice certain things. Even drivers that have been driving for a long time have to keep on practicing certain things. You did pass and fairly well too.
Me: Thank you! Thank you! Did you know that today was my birthday and I thought I was going to remember it forever...not only because I turn 30 but because I was going to fail my test.
Him: Well--happy birthday to you. Let's go inside and get you your license.
Hubby and little Benny where inside waiting for me. Hubby met my eyes and I didn't smile...wanting to trick him, but then the excitement was too much and I smiled and he knew. My little Benny then says...Happy Birthday Mom. My day was shaping up greatly!
Overall, my day was a complete and happy day: my little boy gave me some beautiful roses, I was gifted a bit, I was taken out to eat to my favorite restaurant and had my favorite food and my family was there with me...even if they were jumping off the seat with excitement. Then came home and when I thought that the day was over, my hubby told me to go next door to my neighbor's house. At Nish's house, I was happily surprised by my road biking group of grls! Nish baked my favorite cake and we sat and chatted for a couple of hours. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present from all my friends: a couple of hours of just "us" time to talk and bond. It was a happy birthday...if the day represents what my life will be in years to come: I am going to be a happy person, surrounded by family and friends who love me and remember me.
Thank you all for wishing me a happy birthday and for wishing me luck on my test! Thank you!
Picture: Top collage: little Benny, Wonderboy and I at the restaurant. Hubby was sitted opposite us and he has a bit of a cold and prefers not to have pictures taken when he has a cold, something to do with a rudolph nose. I just wanted some pictures of me...something to look at in 30 years from now.